The Effect of Mood on Job Performance

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The Effect of Mood on Job Performance

Ming-Hui Kan

Professor Stephen J. Famiglietti
ESLG 0455 G05 Capstone Research Project
October 28, 2011

Thesis Statement: Mood has a strong effect on job performance. Positive mood results in higher quality of work and negative mood reduces task performance. Employers/employees should do everything they can to maintain a positive mood at the workplace. I. Introduction

A. The Relations Between Mood, Work Attitudes and Work Performance B. The Hypothsis
II. The Influence of Mood on Work Performance
A. The Employee’s Mood
1. Rothbard & Wilk’s (in press) Study
B. The Impact of Leader’s Mood
1. Johnson (2009)
2. Sy & Côté’s Study (2005)
III. The Implication
A. The Implication of the Correlation Between Mood and Performance IV. Tips to Maintain Positive Mood
A. Wake Up Early
B. Exercise
C. Plan Your Week and Day
D. Understand That Things Won’t Always Go as Planned
E Talk to someone
F. Journaling
V. Conclusion

The Effect of Mood on Job Performance
Ming-Hui Kan

1. Introduction

No one can live without mood. Mood may come from various sources such as persistent life challenges, work opportunities, daily positive or negative family experiences or even the commute into work. How does mood affect your life? Does your mood have an effect on your work attitude and task performance? Imagine how you start your day when you are out to work. A traffic jam blocks your way to your workplace. A rude driver bumps onto the rear bumper arm of your car and you spill your café latte into your lap. You have an argument with him. So you get to your office late in a bad mood. Will this unhappy experience have an impact on your engagement to your work during the day? Or imagine it was your birthday yesterday. Your friends celebrated your birthday for you. Each of your friends gave you a gift that you like very much and you had a very warm and memorable dinner. Next day, you go to your office, still very excited about that happy experience so much that everyone can see you smile? Will that birthday experience make you more productive during the day? The above two scenarios bring up a very interesting question concerning the relation between mood and individual performance. Perhaps you think that mood is personal psyche, but it actually affects your performance. The present essay studies how positive and negative moods are related to work attitude and job performance. Our hypothesis is that moods have a strong effect on work attitude and job performance. In particular we posit the following:

Hypothesis A: Positive mood results in an active working attitude and produces better quality of work. Hypothesis B: Negative mood results in a passive thinking mode and reduces task performance.

The above two hypotheses, though intuitive and obvious, need to be proved, given that “very few studies have actually looked at the effect [of mood] on performance in the workplace”, as Rothbard notes.[1] They are also worth exploration because “some people, after all, thrive on tension; for others, perhaps settling in to work helps them shake off the lousy mood they started with” (Waking up 2006). It is the task of this essay to show that there is a correlation between positive mood and higher quality of work and between negative mood and lower productivity. It is also important to know that moods have various sources. Employees may have had their mood before they sit at work. However, employee’s mood might be in tight connection with their manager’s or leader’s mood, because the manager or leader creates the environment that determines an employee’s mood at the office. It is therefore very interesting to see how a manager’s or leader’s mood affects employee’s performance. This is another topic that we will discuss in this essay. If moods have a strong impact on employee or individual productivity,...
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